Studying abroad is a wonderful, integrated academic opportunity for your student to earn credits toward a degree while developing a global awareness and skill set that employers find desirable. The benefits of studying abroad can be academic, professional and personal:
We’re happy to help you learn more about the study-abroad opportunities through Rollins College and about the entire study abroad process — from research to return.
What study abroad opportunities are available for my student? Rollins offers several excellent semester opportunities through our Rollins and Rollins affiliate programs—destinations range from Shanghai to Paris, and the programs themselves offer a range of options from a focus on an international internship, to language intensive coursework, to full integration at a foreign university, and many combinations therof! Rollins also currently offers one summer program focused on Spanish language and culture. Each year Rollins students can also choose from an incredible array of short-term Field Study courses led by Rollins faculty during the winter break, spring break and summer—these courses vary widely in location and academic content, but are always a unique and exciting academic-travel experience.
Which programs are best suited for my student? Encourage your student to consider and identify his or her goals for study abroad. Help your student discuss or reflect on his or her preferences and level of independence. Study Abroad should challenge students to venture out of their comfort zones, but if they are pushed too far too quickly, the experience may end up being more negative than positive. Review our “Choosing a Program” brochure (link to document) for a full explanation of the types of programs and the various goals and concerns your student should consider when choosing a program.
When should my student study abroad? Each student is unique so there is truly no blanket answer to this question. Students can study abroad as early as the summer before the freshman year, and as late as the second-to-last semester or the winter intersession before the final semester. Encourage your student to discuss his or her academic plans with faculty and advisors on campus and to consider other commitments, such as extracurriculars and athletics. Financial planning may influence when is the best time as well: a student may choose to work or acquire a paid internship over the summer in order to help pay for a winter Field Study. Students will also want to consider professional goals (timing of internships, applications to graduate schools, career planning) to determine when is the best time to study abroad. Level of independence and maturity may also play a part. Keep in mind that many Rollins students also choose to study abroad more than once.
I am concerned about my son/daughter's safety. What can I do to keep him/her safe? It is natural for a parent to be concerned about their child's safety, but worrying too much can be equally burdensome. The most important thing for the parent to do is to be supportive of the decision to study abroad and encourage the student to take heed to all recommendations given in the pre-departure orientation and pre-departure guide. Rollins College and the Office of International Programs will not send your student to a location that is highly unsafe. We receive email updates from all the US Embassies/Consulates from around the world and monitor State Department travel warnings issued for particular destinations. And remember that no place on earth is 100% safe, including the United States. There are some steps you can take to assist us in keeping your student safe:
Make sure to keep a copy of the first few pages of your child's passport and of the pages that include that country's visa. This will be important should he/she lose his/her passport.
Keep a ready list of all contact information.
Make sure you have prepared adequately so that your student has access to funds while abroad, especially in case of emergency. Our Pre-Departure Guide covers funding while abroad in detail.
Encourage your student to learn about the country he or she will be traveling to—books, films, websites, and music are all wonderful sources that can introduce a student to the host culture.
Can I travel with my son/daughter or visit them while abroad? The Office of International Programs has no problem with family and/or friends traveling to visit the student abroad during a semester or longer summer program, but you will need to consider the program length, academic demands, and planned activities and excursions. Typically, family members would not be able to visit during a short-term or Field Study program. It is often best to plan a visit during breaks during the semester, or before or after the official start and end of the program, that way you will not adversely affect your student’s educational and immersion experience. Visitors can not stay in program housing or participate in program-sponsored activities and excursions.
How often should I expect to hear from my student during the study abroad program? On short-term programs students may be so busy that they won’t have much time for phone calls and emails. In some countries, students may not have easy access to such modes of communication. Most students returning from study abroad cite independence and self-reliance as qualities they feel they have gained through studying abroad—you can support this development by allowing your student space to focus on the experience and become immersed in the host culture. Blogs or online journals can be a wonderful way for students to communicate with friends and family and also reflect on their adventures abroad. Discuss your expectations for communication with your student and set reasonable goals for regular communication. Contact our office if you need advice about cell phones abroad, skype, and email/internet access.
Still have questions? Contact us by phone or e-mail. We are always happy to speak with you and answer your questions. 407.646.2466 | firstname.lastname@example.org